Vets and Chiros
By Yamila Cruz-Martinez, DC student
Animal chiropractic is a controversial profession; it is a growing profession in the United States and the rest of the world. The controversy arises because the veterinary profession is not educated in the use of chiropractic on animals and there is limited research available about chiropractic. Many laws have been passed limiting the practice of animal chiropractic and the requirements needed.
The major debate regarding animal chiropractic is who should be allowed to practice and perform the chiropractic adjustments. Post graduate certification is available in Animal Chiropractic. The certification is regulated by American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) and requires between 205-230 hours of training; with approximately 5 lectures and 5 lab practical tests, plus the finals of each program and the Board test. The trainings are offered to Chiropractors and Veterinarians, students of both fields can begin the training a couple of months before graduation but won’t receive the AVCA Certification until after graduation and passing the Animal Chiropractic board exam.
The discrepancy comes on both ends of the rope, Chiropractors and Veterinarians. The chiropractic profession does not think veterinarians understand the philosophy, the art, or the science of chiropractic. The veterinary profession believes chiropractors have not been trained in the areas of animal anatomy, diseases or physiology.
There is validity on both sides. You see, the certification consists of different modules and topics like chiropractic philosophy, chiropractic evaluation and adjustments, anatomy of different animals, neurology, pathology, drugs and herbal medicines, jurisprudence, and radiology (when you think you can’t get more of those X-rays with Fox!!), among others. Courses are instructed by chiropractors, veterinarians and lawyers.
Yes! Of course a couple of months training won’t make you an expert in either of them but the cooperation of both professions can lead to a better outcomes for the animal and brighter future for Animal Chiropractic. The importance here is to stop pulling the rope at either end and to take advantage of the great opportunity to expand the chiropractic profession, allowing the innate of humans and animals flow in homeostasis.
– American Veterinary Chiropractic Association: http://www.animalchriopractic.org (2000).
– AVMA. Scope of Practice: Complementary and alternative veterinary Medicine (CAVM) and exemptions. New York: AVMA, 2011.
– Keating, J. “Further Comments on Veterinary Chiropractic.” Canadian Veterinary Journal (2000): 518-519.